I just read a great article on marriage by Tim Keller. In it he quotes from John Tierney’s classic humor article Picky, Picky, Picky some of the reasons Tierney’s single friends ended relationships. (NY Times)
“She mispronounced ‘Goethe.’”
“How could I take him seriously after seeing The Road Less Traveled on his bookshelf?”
“If she would just lose seven pounds.”
“Sure, he’s a partner, but it’s not a big firm. And he wears those short black socks.”
“Well, it started out great … beautiful face, great body, nice smile. Everything was going fine—until she turned around.” He paused ominously and shook his head. ”… She had dirty elbows.”
Keller then proceeds to explain how the person who will fulfill us and completely accept us just as we are is never the person we marry, not for anyone. Wait around long enough and every marriage relationship winds up in the same place, a place where both husband and wife recognize they’re two flawed people who will each have to make changes and work at their relationship to make it worthwhile.
But why should we think marriage wouldn’t be hard work? Keller asks. Why should a baseball player think it wouldn’t be hard work to learn how to hit a curve ball? Why should a basketball player or a football player think it wouldn’t be hard work to make the playoffs? Or why should a writer think it wouldn’t be hard to write a great book?
Worthwhile things are hard work. Marriage is no different.
Perhaps, like many people, you’ve forgotten about a relationship more important than your marriage. Perhaps you’ve forgotten or neglected your relationship with your Creator.
That relationship can be hard work too.
Today your relationship with God is under constant assault by distractions: There’s sports, and travel, and work, and friends, and family — and then there are the screens. The screens are bombarding us with distraction like never before. There’s movie screens, and computer screens, and smartphone screens, and tablet screens, and TV screens. All of these distractions, most of which aren’t bad in and of themselves, are pulling on you, pulling you away from God. Sometimes it takes hard work to pull yourself away from all of these things to draw near to God. (James 4:8)
Go ahead, ask yourself, Am I treating God as I should? Am I honoring Him? Do I do that which I think will please Him? Do I live my life with the design to please Him? Is He ultimate in my life? And if I answer yes, does the way I invest my time, energy, and money reflect my answer?
Investing your time, energy, and money in God and your relationship with Him can be hard work at times. Just like a marriage you’ll have to make changes in yourself and you’ll have to work at your relationship with Christ to make it worthwhile.
But it’s worth it.
The return on investment is eternal.
You, and I, and every person has to ask, Do I believe I ought to love God with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my mind? (Matthew 22:37)
And if the answer is yes, then comes the hard question.
Am I doing so?